I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

5 October 2014

Surveying the Scene

So here I am again on the top step
in the evening air, and those birds
with yellow eyes are shrieking
to drive me away, but She stands
and speaks, and the birds go away instead.

I wasn’t going to come out here.
The days are getting hot now
and I’d sooner lounge inside. But She
brought wine and sat in that chair
by the door, then coaxed me out.

The truth is, I don’t know what I want.
There are days when I hardly eat,
just can’t get interested in food at all.
There are days I’m so damn hungry
no amount could fill my emptiness.

I visit the spots in house and garden
where my sister liked to prop. The spare bed
with the sun coming through the blind.
The half-hidden space among the bushes
cosy as a nest, with its natural camouflage.

Sometimes it helps to curl up there, in the places
my sister made. But then it feels wrong,
so I pace and miaow, restless and cross.
I cry and insist, but I’m not sure for what,
and call my Person to me over and over again.

My Person — is She top cat now, or am I?
I think we take it in turns. When I call
She comes obediently to sit awhile, stroke and talk,
but She doesn’t know how to help me. At times
I help her. I pat her with my paw, very, very gently.


31 Poems in 31 Days (Poewar / Writer's Resource Center) Prompt: A Persona poem utilising one of the last two prompts as well. (I guess it's obvious I chose Place.)



8 comments:

  1. Such a beautiful poem, Rosemary. You get closer to the ground. Thank you. Like the old Welsh bard, Daffid ap Gwyllam, you are blessed if you can sometimes turn into other creatures. (If a cat, then no dogs though!)

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    1. Thanks, Rob. Not difficult when I have the alter ego in front of me daily. He's taking it hard, poor old boy — which was to be expected.

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  2. You have captured his angst so well. He must miss his master. I'm glad you comfort each other.

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    1. Yes, I believe he still misses Andrew. This poems is more about him missing Freya, his sister who left us a month ago.

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  3. Great poem. Cats sure have their personalities, don't they?

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  4. I love this poem. It was very effective to capitalize "She." I like envisioning the other possibilities, outside of the cat persona. I rather like believing the "She" to be a deceased loved one you almost become at times, and also an alter ego or alternate personality. Perhaps the speaker is even schozophrenic or "mad."

    "The truth is, I don’t know what I want." This line is key, for me.

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    1. Ah, the other half of the writer/reader contract is that once the poem is made public, readers are free to add heir own interpretations, which is almost a new act of creation! :) I'm glad you enjoyed your explorations, but it also makes me wonder if I did not convey well enough the premise I was starting from — in which 'She' is me, seen through the eyes (and imagined thoughts!) of my cat Levi, while he tries to cope with missing his sister, who died a month ago. You're right about the key line. He is very unsettled, and might even be a bit mad at times.

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  5. Poor boy - he misses and grieves.

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